By Good News Post
A cute rat has been awarded a gold medal for his “lifesaving bravery and devotion to duty for heroic landmine detection.
Magawa, a giant African pouched rat, has discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded mines since he was trained by charity APOPO.
He is the charity’s most successful Hero Rat, having cleared more than 141,000 square metres of land – the same size as 20 football pitches.
Magawa has been formally recognised for his work and been presented with a miniature PDSA Gold Medal, the animal equivalent of the George Cross.
He is the first rat in the charity’s 77-year history to receive such an award.
Christophe Cox, chief executive of APOPO, said: “To receive this medal is really an honour for us. I have been working with APOPO for over 20 years.
“Especially for our animal trainers who are waking up every day, very early, to train those animals in the morning.
“But also it is big for the people in Cambodia, and all the people around the world who are suffering from landmines. The PDSA Gold Medal award brings the problem of landmines to global attention.”
On a daily basis, HeroRAT Magawa’s work is life-saving and life-changing and has a direct impact on the men, women and children in the communities in which he works.
For every landmine or unexploded remnant he finds, he eradicates the risk of death or serious injury in locations already suffering significant hardship.
Cambodia has the highest number of mine amputees per capita in the world – over 40,000 people.
For each landmine HeroRAT Magawa finds, he saves a life. The testimonials of those who have seen him work show the immense difference that APOPO’s HeroRATs make to the communities they serve.
Photos by PDSA.